Junction of Southampton Row and Theobalds Road set for layout changes

Camden Council is planning to make road layout changes at the junction of Southampton Row and Theobalds Road. 

The immediate road safety improvements include:

  • Changing the southbound Southampton Row approach to the junction from three lanes to two to reduce the risk to cyclists of vehicles turning left from the current centre ahead-only lane
  • The current central ahead-only traffic lane will be replaced with a temporary island to separate vehicles turning left and vehicles going straight on
  • Amending the nearside left-turn lane so that cyclists and buses can travel straight ahead through the junction, while general traffic will only be allowed to turn left
  • Adding cycle boxes (advanced stop lines) for cyclists at the traffic lights on Southampton Row to provide a safe space to wait in at the front of queuing traffic
  • A possible extension of the cycle, bus, and taxi lane on Theobald’s Road and reduction of the bus lane on Southampton Row by 25m to maintain space for large vehicles to use the left turn lane (subject to an assessment currently taking place)

Working together with Transport for London, the changes will be implemented quickly to respond to immediate road safety concerns.

More substantial changes are currently being designed and will be introduced between December 2021 and January 2022. Camden Council and TfL will also continue to work on longer-term plans to transform roads in the area.

Councillor Adam Harrison, Cabinet member for a Sustainable Camden
These immediate measures are the beginning of changes planned for this junction. 

In the last decade, too many cyclists have died on roads in Holborn. Our thoughts remain with their families, friends and former colleagues. We are absolutely determined to do all we can to make Camden as safe as possible for cyclists.

We will work together with the local community and ward councillors, cycling groups, TfL and the Mayor of London in the coming months to agree further significant and permanent changes to this junction. Camden Council is committed to working with TfL and the Mayor to reach ‘Vision Zero’ of no deaths or serious injuries on our roads.
Councillor Adam Harrison, Cabinet member for a Sustainable Camden
My thoughts remain with the family, friends and colleagues of Dr Marta Krawiec. We're determined to make roads across London safer as part of our Vision Zero commitment to eliminating death and serious injury from the capital's roads and these immediate changes will reduce danger to people cycling in Holborn, and enable more people to cycle confidently. We'll continue to work closely with Camden Council to make these changes and to deliver longer term proposals to improve road safety in the area.
Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner

The immediate forthcoming changes at the junction of Southampton Row and Theobalds Road will reduce conflict between cyclists and motorists and make more space for cyclists as they approach the junction from Southampton Row.

Camden Council and TfL will continue to work on longer-term plans for the area, subject to future TfL funding agreements with government.

In 2018, the Council delivered a programme of improved road safety measures at the junction, using limited Section 106 funding and funding from TfL, which created additional space for cyclists and prioritised pedestrians and cyclists above other road users. Changes made by Camden included:

  • Allowing only cycles to turn left from Vernon Place into Southampton Row
  • Allowing only cycles and pedestrians to access Bloomsbury Square from Southampton Row
  • Extending the eastbound bus, cycle, and taxi lane on Vernon Place
  • The removal of a traffic lane on High Holborn to improve the safety of cyclists changing lanes to turn right